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But your Branded Keyword Campaign is doing so well...

Jul 25, 2012
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First Name
Kevin
Ouch, 2nd largest campaign by cost goes to the dealer name. Wasted money at that price. How many of those were on mobile? Ads make the mobile experience far worse for the customer, as GMB (which likely shows up first) is a much better option than the more limiting Search Ad.

I'd also ask for your search terms report in the "OEM Dealer" campaign, I bet the keywords in that campaign are also triggering for the brand name as well, indirectly through poor match type and keyword selection combinations and lack of negatives.

Oh, that also applies to Used Mercedes Certified Campaign - I bet that is happening there too. 22.71% CTR? Suspicious. Probably have people searching "mercedes benz hagerstown used cars" or something like that. Review the Search Terms report across the account, I bet more than 1/3rd of that budget is going to brand name when you dig deeper.


Me: for the 10th time, remind me again why we are spending such a large portion on "Branded" keywords? (Mercedes-Benz of Hagerstown)

Agency: Because it's doing so well!!

Me: Well DUHHHHHH


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Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,569
1,169
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First Name
Jeff
Ouch, 2nd largest campaign by cost goes to the dealer name. Wasted money at that price. How many of those were on mobile? Ads make the mobile experience far worse for the customer, as GMB (which likely shows up first) is a much better option than the more limiting Search Ad.

I'd also ask for your search terms report in the "OEM Dealer" campaign, I bet the keywords in that campaign are also triggering for the brand name as well, indirectly through poor match type and keyword selection combinations and lack of negatives.

Oh, that also applies to Used Mercedes Certified Campaign - I bet that is happening there too. 22.71% CTR? Suspicious. Probably have people searching "mercedes benz hagerstown used cars" or something like that. Review the Search Terms report across the account, I bet more than 1/3rd of that budget is going to brand name when you dig deeper.
There's another image in my original post that shows the key words. I got the agency and the GM to agree with me. Hard to believe I even needed to have the conversation.

KeywordsPPCampaigns.jpg
 
Jul 25, 2012
28
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First Name
Kevin
Which campaign is that keyword list from, that looks like the 'Brand' campaign?

I'd be weary of the other campaigns, their CTR is typical (very high) of branded searches, even though they may not be bidding on branded keywords. They could be using broad match, and despite bidding on a non-branded keyword, the ads are showing for branded searches which the search terms report would show to be true or false.

I often see accounts where they are not actively bidding on a branded term, however they're broad match terms end up triggering for branded searches, which in the end is the same problem, it's just less visible. Without looking at the search terms report, everything looks good - no branded searches but there actually is a lot!

There's another image in my original post that shows the key words. I got the agency and the GM to agree with me. Hard to believe I even needed to have the conversation.

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Reactions: CarlAutofusion
Mar 17, 2014
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Carl
The first thing I noticed when looking at the screenshot is the high CPC. Kevin is right on the money. They are likely not using negative keywords and running the campaigns using broad match keyword modifiers. For your own dealer name, you should be paying $1 CPC or even a lot less, depending on the area.

FYI. You can view the Search terms by going to Google Analytics:
Acquisition=>Google Ads=>Campaigns
Choose the campaign and under Secondary dimensions, select "Search Query"
 

Rick Buffkin

Sausage King of Chicago
Oct 29, 2009
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Rick
Am I missing something here?? You guys don't have any idea what Jeff's Auction Insights report looks like. None! But, you're telling him that he's paying to much for brand terms. Keep in mind that his Brand Terms are technically Geo Brand Terms. So, you're basically comparing and saying that in Jeff's situation, a Geo Brand Campaign should perform like a Brand Campaign should.

I'm calling Ms. Cleo to get the inside scoop on those Insights Reports Jeff!!

 
Mar 17, 2014
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Carl
Hello Rick, I assumed Jeff's Brand campaign contained dealer name, brand and geo-brand keywords. I saw his OEM Dealer campaign but the CPC of $4.50 is just too high for it to be a dealer name campaign.

My comment that he should be paying $1 CPC or less on buying the dealer name is based on my own experience. We typically don't buy the dealer name unless instructed by the dealership or if other dealers are conquesting them. But when we do, the CPC is very low, sometimes as low as $0.20 CPC. Remember that as the dealer that owns the dealer name, your Quality Score will likely be 10, while any competitors will be 2 or 3. This means any conquestors will have to bid significantly higher to out rank you on Google Ads for the dealer name.

Thanks.
 
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Dan Sayer

Refresher
Dec 4, 2009
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Dan
Dealers fall into 2 buckets with brand campaigns on Google Ads:


1) Running Brand Campaign When No Competitors Are

You're simply wasting money and paying the Google tax for traffic you would have already received for free (for now) via your (hopefully well-optimized) Google My Business listing. Turn your brand campaign off immediately and send me 10% of your savings as a thank you. ;)

:light: Pro Tip: Want the peace of mind of knowing whether competitors are running conquest campaigns on your brand name in the future? Leave your brand campaign running with a $1 /day budget so you can still get auction insight data. $30 /month is a low price to pay for the peace of mind it can provide your dealer principal.



2) Running Brand Campaign When Competitors Are Conquesting Your Brand Name

This is a tough situation because if you turn your brand campaign off, your dealer principal will freak out when they see a competitor showing up above your organic listing.

My recommendation would be to create a case study to prove / disprove the effectiveness of conquest campaigns by running a campaign on your competitor's brand name for a month. Make sure you have a call recording line setup on the call extension, DNI setup on your website, and conversion / goal tracking on your website.

After a month, listen to every phone call the campaign generated and document how 95% of the $7 clicks / calls were for your competitor's service customers checking on the status of their car. Document how 0 leads were generated on your website and the traffic had a 90% bounce rate.

Present your findings to the dealer principal that they should actually want their competitors wasting money on conquest campaigns. Let them waste their money, while you spend the money elsewhere on campaigns that will actually generate incremental sales.

If the case study is unsuccessful in dissuading the dealer principal, use these :light: pro tips to maximize the return while minimizing the wasted spend:
  1. Use Customer Match data to exclude your brand campaign (via negative bid adjustments) from appearing to your service customers.
  2. Use Google In-Market audience data to target in-market shoppers of your make that are searching for your brand name but are not current customers of yours. This will prevent your competitors from stealing away fresh prospects wanting to do business with you.
  3. Use Google RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads) to exclude your brand campaign from appearing to customers that have already visited your website. Trust me; these customers will click on your organic SERP or Google My Business listing.
  4. Use Google Custom Affinity Audiences to target customers that have visited your competitors' websites but are now searching for you. Don't let your competitor steal them back.
^^ :light: follow these same tips if your brand name is a generic geo name.


These tips will accomplish the following:
  1. Decrease your brand campaign spend by as much as 75%.
  2. Guarantee that you only capture the highest sales-intent customers that you *might* have lost to a competitor.
  3. Replace 99% of your "missed" paid brand campaign traffic with organic brand traffic from your SERP and Google My Business listing.
  4. Allow you to reallocate the spend to campaigns that will generate incremental sales.
  5. Make your dealer principal happy. :)


The exception to the rule: Sub-prime dealers

Sub-prime dealers are the one exception to the rule where it can absolutely make sense to run conquest / brand campaigns. If you have a well-known subprime competitor in the market, you can ride the coattails of their massive traditional tv / radio ad spend and name recognition by running conquest campaigns on their brand name. Just make sure your ad copy and landing page are really optimized for converting the traffic into leads.

This also applies in the reverse situation: if you are a well-known subprime dealer, make sure to protect your brand name from competitors looking to capitalize on your name recognition and tv / radio spend.
Another exception. If you buy a store. Be ready to buy the previous dealer's name for a really long time... I also buy our "new" dealer name as we ramp up Organic. @reverson would you agree?
 
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